...Continued from page 1

"I've never quite come to my senses," Dennis says, about how he joined the army, 'because of James Jones.' James, in turn, does not quite say why he was in the Marines.

We still each have a table when member Gary De La Rosa arrives, as he says, from East Los Angeles, to share a table with the club's secretary. Gary says he has to come to Paris to get peace and quiet, especially since the anniversary of the Watts' summer of '65 is coming up.

James, before Heidelberg, is from Los Angeles too. He and Gary trade names, about 'South Central,' which is the usual name for Watts these days. While Gary finds out that Dennis has the apartment that he won't rent to Gary because Gary jokingly said he was going to have big parties in it, James whispers, "La Défense sucks."

Although he whispered this in my working ear, I'm sure he's said something else, like, maybe, 'Los Angeles' ducks.' I mean, I don't think anybody else said anything about La Défense. Why would anybody?

Heather is pointing the sack full of gummibären towards me. "Take a handful!" she urges.

"Ah. No! Sticky fingers!" I say automatically, jerked rearward by total recoil. Heather, nonplussed,photo, gummibaren, heather is reeling off questions her readers send her. "What do you think the exchange rate will be next week?" is one example. "Is Heidelberg in our Germany or their Germany?" is another.

"By the way, does anyone want to share a pot?" James throws out, to eager takers. The 'Waiter of the Week,' who has brought Dennis some hot onion soup, brings another pot of wine and lots of clean glasses.

Heather takes kilo of gummibären in trade for fat book.

James whispers the longest word in German. 'Donaudampfschifffahartgesellschaft' I think I hear. "I made up another one with 200 letters," he says, "But I've forgotten 30 letters of it." The one he does remember, means Donau Steamship Company.

Dennis, who has discovered that Gary is a true club member, who likes to joke a bit – not likely to have a wild party at Dennis' if he rents it – promotes European life. "Instead of going to Vegas for a weekend, I can go to Berlin!" Gary says something about getting 'four exchange students from Los Vegas' in Los Angeles.

And then Gary is telling us about his grandfather, while Dennis jumps in with the warning about getting thrown down the coal chute that he got from his grandfather. Or was it Groucho Marx? "Think!" Gary exclaims, his arms writhing like a Neapolitan ice cream vendor.

Before long, because club meetings are short, Heather, Gary, Dennis and James, are browbeating the clubphoto, cocktail of the week secretary to remember the name of the café near 'Les Puces' that has live jazz on Sundays in the afternoons. In the Rue des Rosiers in Saint–Ouen is all everybody, except the club's secretary, can remember.

The club meeting is in overtime, James discovers by looking at his portable phone. Heather gives a jump and whips out her phone. It looks nearly identical to James.' She says, "Except for that button. What does it do?"

Whatever this is, it is the other 'Cocktail of the Week.

James looks at his phone as if they only thing it does is give the time. The button in question is a mystery. "Sometimes I sit on my phone," Heather says, "And find I've been dialed into the 'net for a hour."

Strike of the Week

No strikes were forecast for this week but a bad thing happened to a SNCF ticket controller which upset otherphoto, gary, heather controllers, so they went on strike without warning and disrupted a great swath of rail traffic. This began on Wednesday, continued on Thursday and may still be affecting rail services on Friday.

While Dennis and James are fetching theirs, Heather and Gary partake.

If this seems to have affected you personally, try to remember that it has affected everybody else with as little warning. A lot of regular rail users are very steamed up about it. However rail workers don't fancy being assaulted while on the job. They are not very impressed by a SNCF announcement that it will hire a 100 more security agents either.

Shopping & Soldes d'Hiver Alert XIV

The Soldes d'Hiver are in their ho–hum mid–phase but they continue for another two weeks until Saturday, 12. February. Whatever is left may get even cheaper so watch out for the discount sticker on top of all the other discount stickers.

More About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' with a good whiff of the 'Onion Soup of the Week,' had a healthy mention of pots of wine. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has a passel of fine print, but you can skip it entirely and not miss anything but fine print. If you do decide to skip it, all you need to know is that the club can be joined anytime so long as it's a Thursday.

Who, Where, When, How, What, Why Not?

Club meetings begin about 15:00 on the hour, on Thursday afternoons and drift off at 17:00 or after on the same afternoon in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'TOZZ' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Meetings are held in Paris instead of around somewhere else.

Be devilishly clever at a meeting – by being at one – and become comfortable for a hour or two if it is what you desire most. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having approximately the same worth as 'first' regardless. 'First' is perfectly believable too, if it is an acceptable form of 'true.'

Note of caution – you may have any one or more personal reasons for remaining unfindable via the Web. If so, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before becoming 'found' in one of these club reports. Google yourownself if in doubt.graphic: club location map

Former 'rules' continue to be 'former' week after week after week, month after month, year after endless year, and have been eliminated forever etc., blah–blah, from the club's hyper–texts of archives etc., etc., andsoforth.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than only optional if there aren't any. If there's a free chair, sit – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. Bring your own if you prefer. Whatever you say will be greatly appreciated by other members present if there are any that are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because this week's meeting had more than enough words for three whole meetings in it.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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